10 Delicious Recipes for Your Leftover Thanksgiving Food


One of the best parts of Thanksgiving is having all of the delicious leftovers. However, sometimes after such a fulfilling meal, you may feel like switching it up a bit. Try these 10 mouthwatering recipes for your leftover turkey, ham, cranberries, potatoes, and pumpkin from The Lion House Cookbook, Our Best Bites, and The Romney Family Table, all available at Deseret Book.

1. Cranberry-Orange Chicken Salad

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     • 1 pound chicken, marinated, grilled, and cut into small, bite-sized pieces (about 2 cups of chopped chicken) (or substitute your leftover turkey)
     • 1 cup celery, chopped
     • 1/3 cup chopped green onions
     • Zest of 1 medium orange (about 1 tablespoon)
     • 1/2 cup Craisins
     • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
     • 1 teaspoon coarse grain mustard
     • 2 tablespoons jellied cranberry sauce
     • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
     • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (or to taste)
     • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
     • Croissants, rolls, or pita pockets
     • Lettuce leaves

In medium bowl, combine chicken, celery, green onions, orange zest, and Craisins. In separate, smaller bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, mustard, cranberry sauce, salt, and black pepper. Add to the chicken mixture and toss to fully combine. This salad is best if refrigerated for several hours before serving.

Just before serving, add toasted pecans. Serve on a croissant or roll with a crisp leaf of lettuce.

Find this and other great recipes in Our Best Bites, available at Deseret Book.

2. Hot Turkey Salad Supreme

     • 2 cups diced cooked turkey
     • 2 cups chopped celery
     • 1/2 teaspoon salt
     • 2 tablespoons minced onion
     • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
     • 1 cup mayonnaise
     • 3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
     • 1 cup crushed potato chips
     • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
     • Leaf lettuce, for serving
     • Lemon wedges and parsley sprigs, for garnishing

Preheat oven to 350° F. Mix turkey, celery, salt, onion, and lemon juice in a medium bowl. Fold in mayonnaise and spoon into greased casserole dish. Sprinkle grated cheese on top, followed by crushed potato chips and slivered almonds. Bake for 15 minutes. Don’t overbake; mayonnaise will break down. Serve on lettuce leaves and garnish with lemon wedges and parsley.

Find this and other great recipes in The Lion House Cookbook, available at Deseret Book.

3. Ham Spread

     • 1 (8-oz.) tub soft-style cream cheese with chives and onion
     • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
     • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
     • 1/3 cup cooked, finely diced ham

To make ham spread, stir together cream cheese, mustard, mayonnaise, and ham in small mixing bowl. Cover and chill. Serve on white, wheat, rye, pumpernickel, or sourdough bread.

Find this and other great recipes in The Lion House Cookbook, available at Deseret Book.

4. Caramelized Green Beans

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     • 6 ounces bacon
     • 1 1/8 pounds fresh green beans or 1 pound frozen green beans (not French-style)
     • 2 tablespoons sugar
     • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
     • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
     • 1/2 red onion, sliced
     • 3–4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
     • 1 tablespoon olive oil
     • Lots of freshly ground pepper

Begin frying bacon in large skillet. Start boiling large pot of water. Place fresh beans in colander and rinse them well. Then snap ends off and snap them in half. Set aside.

Prepare sauce by mixing sugar, soy sauce, and salt in small bowl. Set aside. Make sure your onions are sliced, your garlic is pressed or minced, and all your ingredients are close to your stove top and ready to go.

Remove bacon from pan and drain on paper towel. If you feel like it, you can crumble it now or wait until it’s cooled off a little. Discard all but 2 tablespoons of bacon grease. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to the bacon grease and increase heat to medium-high. When the pan is hot, add the onions and garlic. Give them a quick stir.

Add beans to boiling water. Place colander in a clean sink. Boil for 1 minute (2–3 minutes if you’re using frozen beans); you’re not cooking them until they’re done, just blanching them to take edge off. Meanwhile, stir onions and garlic so they don’t scorch. When beans are bright green, drain them in the colander in sink.

Add drained beans to the onions and garlic. Stir-fry 2–3 minutes more. Give your sauce a quick whisk and then pour on top of beans. Keep stir-frying until beans become a little glazed, or about 2–3 minutes. Add crumbled bacon and lots of freshly ground pepper to beans. Keep stir-frying until sauce sticks to the beans and bacon. Transfer to serving dish and allow to stand a few minutes so beans cool down a bit and glaze thickens up a little.

Find this and other great recipes in Our Best Bites, available at Deseret Book.

5. Cranberry Salad

     • 1 cup water
     • 2 cups sugar
     • 4 cups cranberries
     • 2 cups miniature marshmallows, or cut large marshmallows
     • 2 apples, diced
     • 3 bananas, sliced
     • 3 cups orange sections
     • 1/2 cup pecans

Combine water and sugar; boil until thickened to syrup. Add cranberries; cook until cranberries burst. Remove from heat; let stand 10 minutes. Chill. Add remaining ingredients to cranberries and chill thoroughly. Serve on lettuce leaf. Top with whipped cream dressing, if desired.

Find this and other great recipes in The Lion House Cookbook, available at Deseret Book.

6. Loaded Mashed Potatoes

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     • 3 pounds russet potatoes
     • 1/4 cup real butter, softened
     • 1/4 cup (plus more if necessary) milk
     • 1/2 cup sour cream
     • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
     • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
     • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
     • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
     • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
     • 6 ounces (1/2 of a 12-ounce package) bacon, cooked until crisp and crumbled

Cut potatoes into uniform 1⁄2-inch pieces; this will help them cook quickly.

Bring large pot of salted water to boil. When water boils, add potatoes and cook until very tender. Slightly overcook potatoes; you want them to start to crumble when pierced with fork. Undercooked potatoes will become pasty.

Drain and place potatoes in large mixing bowl. Add butter and beat with electric mixer until butter is melted and incorporated into potatoes. (Electric mixers will give you the creamiest potatoes.)

Slowly add in milk, starting with 1⁄4 cup, until desired consistency is reached. Whip potatoes, butter, sour cream, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Fold in remaining ingredients by hand. Reserve 2 tablespoons of bacon to top potatoes when serving. If desired, add extra cheddar cheese and onions.

Find this and other great recipes in Our Best Bites, available at Deseret Book.

7. Sweet Potato Muffins

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     • 1/2 cup butter, softened
     • 1 cup sugar
     • 2 eggs
     • 1 1/3 cups cooked, mashed sweet potatoes
     • 1 1/2 cups flour
     • 4 teaspoons baking powder
     • 1 teaspoon salt
     • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
     • 1 cup milk
     • 1 cup sugared walnuts (see below)
     • 1/2 cup brown sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 375° F. Grease or spray 12-cup muffin tin.

Cream butter and sugar, add eggs, and beat. Add cooked, mashed sweet potatoes.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Add gradually to creamed mixture, alternating with milk. End with dry ingredients. Do not overmix; batter should be lumpy.

Fill muffin tins to 2/3 full. Sprinkle batter with sugared walnuts and top each filled cup with 1 teaspoon brown sugar, if desired. Bake 20 to 23 minutes.

Sugared Walnuts

Place 1 cup chopped walnut pieces and 3 tablespoons sugar in 9-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved and walnuts start to caramelize.

Find this and other great recipes in The Romney Family Table, available at Deseret Book.

8. Cranberry Dessert

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     • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
     • 1 cup sugar
     • 1 cup milk
     • 2 cups flour
     • 3 teaspoons baking powder
     • 3 cups fresh cranberries

Preheat oven to 375° F. Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add milk, flour, and baking powder; mix well to combine. Stir in fresh cranberries. Pour into 8-inch square baking dish and bake 30 minutes. Pour on sauce (below) before serving.

     • 1 cup sugar
     • 1/2 cup butter
     • 1/2 cup heavy cream
     • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients in saucepan and heat, stirring frequently, just until sugar is dissolved. Do not boil. Serve warm over Cranberry Dessert.

Find this and other great recipes in The Romney Family Table, available at Deseret Book.

9. Candied Nuts

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These sweet nuts add flavor and texture to salads, but they’re also a great crunchy snack by themselves or even packaged up for holiday gifts!

     • 1/4 cup brown sugar
     • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
     • 1 tablespoon butter
     • 1 cup nuts
     • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, optional

In nonstick skillet, heat brown sugar, corn syrup, and butter over medium heat, stirring as mixture comes together and bubbles. Add nuts and stir to coat.

Continue cooking for 5–7 minutes, stirring constantly until nuts turn golden brown and smell toasted.

Transfer to foil, waxed paper, or parchment and cool completely. Break them apart with your fingers and enjoy!

Find this and other great recipes in Our Best Bites, available at Deseret Book.

10. Pumpkin Pie Milkshake

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Tip: For all but the most powerful blenders, you’ll generally get better results by blending all the ingredients except the ice cream and then mashing softened ice cream in by hand after everything else has been mixed.

     • 1/3 cup pumpkin purée
     • 1/4–1/2 cup milk
     • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
     • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
     • Pinch of cloves
     • Pinch of nutmeg
     • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
     • 2 cups vanilla ice cream
     • 1–2 graham crackers, crushed

Combine all ingredients, except graham crackers, in blender and blend until desired consistency is reached. Add more milk if desired.

Pour into individual serving glasses, sprinkle with graham cracker crumbs, and serve immediately.

Find this and other great recipes in Our Best Bites, available at Deseret Book.

Lead image from Our Best Bites.

Find more delicious recipes in The Lion House Cookbook, Our Best Bites, and The Romney Family Table, available at Deseret Book.


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